May. Sweet month of May.
Perhaps the most poetic – and floriferous – of months.
“May! Queen of blossoms and fulfilling flowers,” penned Lord Edward Thurlow. Not to be outdone, Heinrich Heine wrote, “In the marvelous month of May when all the buds were bursting…” Two centuries and an ocean away, my melodious garden basks in the glory of their poetry, with buds bursting open and fulfilling flowers, capturing the early May sunshine.
(Larkspur and evening primrose, above)
Yes, May is here once again. And with it, perhaps, a new chapter of my life. My melodious garden was a vision 28 years ago. A suburban garden overflowing with flowers and alive with wildlife. Life has taken a lot of twists and turns since I first put down roots in this Texas soil. But the garden has been my constant. My ever present companion. My journey. My mission. The garden and the gardener have evolved and changed with the years and with the seasons. But now, for the first time, I think I can possibly say, The garden is perfect. Perhaps not perfect for everyone. Perhaps not perfect as in complete, finished, done, for is there ever such a thing? But for the first time in 28 years, it is perfect in my eyes. My garden is complete. I am fulfilled. Edits and adjustments will continue, for don’t they always? Yes, there are still weeds. Yes, there are still plants that need planted and paths that need swept and trees that need pruned. But. My vision. It is perfect. This morning, the first day of May, I walked about the garden, camera in hand, knowing that it had all come together. Perhaps I have been here before. My memory fails me at times. Perhaps my younger self knew this same sense of accomplishment. The garden has been in a state of upheaval for so long now, as losing 100plus antique roses – some the size of a VW bug – has a way upheaving the garden. And the gardener. The past eight years have been filled with challenges. Removing well established roses, diseased from rose rosette virus. Extreme temperatures – record setting lows and record setting highs – and drought. Neurological issues and chronic health challenges. But here we are! We pulled through, didn’t we? “The only constant in life is change,” Heraclitus said. I am quite sure he had the garden in mind at the time, for gardens – and gardeners – are constantly changing. Gone are my beloved roses. Vibrant, healing foods, medicine for this gardener’s body, have taken their place. Ah. Sweet May. “All things seem possible in May,” said Edwin Way Teale. Even healing. For as I walk barefoot about the garden, I know that this garden gives me life. It gives me purpose. It gives me happiness. It gives me food, literal food for my body and figurative food for my soul. No garden is complete without flowers to attract the pollinating insects needed for good food production. Photographs are just a few of the buds bursting forth today, this first day of May.
“May and June. Soft syllables, gentle names for the two best months in the garden year: cool, misty mornings gently burned away with a warming spring sun, followed by breezy afternoons and chilly nights.” Peter Loewer
(Hardy amaryllis, above)
(Louisiana iris, above)
“When April steps aside for May, like diamonds all the rain-drops glisten; Fresh violets open every day: To some new bird each hour we listen.” Lucy Larcom
(Chive blossom, above)
(Red yucca, above)